Review: KD C8 XP-L Hi

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Rusty Joe
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Rolz wrote:
Rusty Joe wrote:

This can't be correct.

This means there is no advantage to the XP-L HI over a standard domed XM-L emitter since any really good C8 with a deeper reflector can visually compete with the throw of an HD2010, but not out throw it. Another mentioned his KD HI C8 out-throwing his stock HD2010 by some margin. I know that has to be true because I have the XP-L HI drop-in and it can throw about like a lesser C8 (with 41 mm head). Hmm.

The very good stock HD2010 I have draws 6A on a HE4. Visually my HD2010 has slightly more throw than the KD C8 XP-L HI. They are my findings.

I hear ya. Thanks for your contribution here, btw.

Rolz
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Next review I produce will have outdoor shots of the next torch and I’ll include this one too.
It’s probably the best way to demonstrate the real world performance(50meters, 100meters etc). Thanks again for all the feedback as it really helps.

bikenber73
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I just got a C12 XPL-HI 3mode OP reflector and it looks the same internally as the C8 reviewed here but the beam profile is not ringey. The hotspot is not as defined but it is definitely less floody/ more defined/has better throw than my XML-2 C12's with an OP reflector. The OP might be the way to go with these budget XPL's since the mfg might not take the time and effort to focus them perfectly.  

twinclouds
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Which C12 XPL-HI? Link?

Twinclouds

Muto
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twinclouds wrote:
Which C12 XPL-HI? Link?

here I believe ;
http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S024327

Nice light, still has good amount of spill.
Pulls just over 3 amps on good cell.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

“You’ll develop like a herd mentality,”
“It’s gonna be herd-developed and that’s gonna happen.”

Yep it already happened

twinclouds
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Thanks. C8 vs C12, which one should I get? Any opinions?

Twinclouds

bikenber73
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I think the C12 is uglier but has better heat dissipation . 

Rolz
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I tried both the SMO and OP reflectors in the C8 and the beam pattern was cleaner on the OP as would be expected. The C12 has a different driver to the C8 but based on bikenber73’s comments it appears to be a 3.04A driver

Rolz
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I found the heat dissipation of the C8 quite good. I do agree the C12 is better on that point due to the larger fins near the head

twinclouds
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Based on this review, I bought a KD C8. It works, not as bright as I imagined but works. However I had some mode switching issue.
For the flashlights that I got, their mode switching essentially works two ways. Either on-off-on will switch the mode. For some flashlights it needs to have two quick succession of on-offs to switch the mode. This C8 I received doesn’t work either way. It would stick on one mode and not switch in most cases. Sometimes, it will switch to the other mode then stuck there. This makes this C8 not convenient to use. Does anybody know what’s happening and how to fix that?
I contacted KD customer service but don’t know when they will get back to me because right now, it is Chinese National Day Holiday time.

Twinclouds

Rolz
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twinclouds wrote:
Based on this review, I bought a KD C8. It works, not as bright as I imagined but works. However I had some mode switching issue. For the flashlights that I got, their mode switching essentially works two ways. Either on-off-on will switch the mode. For some flashlights it needs to have two quick succession of on-offs to switch the mode. This C8 I received doesn’t work either way. It would stick on one mode and not switch in most cases. Sometimes, it will switch to the other mode then stuck there. This makes this C8 not convenient to use. Does anybody know what’s happening and how to fix that? I contacted KD customer service but don’t know when they will get back to me because right now, it is Chinese National Day Holiday time.

Hi twinclouds. Can you provide a picture of the driver in your torch. Just unscrew the tube from the head to reveal the back of the driver. Otherwise if you do that and compare against the photos I includede to determin if the driver is a KD V2 or not. Also what brand and model of battery did you use in the torch?

The mode switching you describe isn’t consistent with what I found. The mode swicthing should be full press to turn on, then small taps/half presses to cycle through the modes. The driver memorises the last mode.

twinclouds
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https://photos.google.com/search/_tra_/photo/AF1QipOhIBESxy89l2SoCJ-ebIn...
Thank you for your quick reply. I tried half push as well but they are still behave similarly. Sometimes it switches sometimes it don’t.
I use Panasonic (2000mah) taking from an old laptop and Trustfire 3000mah from DX. Both behave the same.
The photo of the driver is attached. Not sure if it is clear enough or not. (It didn’t show up so I provided the link.)
Thanks again.

Twinclouds

bibihang
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Hi twinclouds, did you also try to do the half-press very quickly? From my experience some drivers require very quick tap on the switch in order to change mode, but they are mostly buck driver though.

Rolz
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twinclouds wrote:
https://photos.google.com/search/_tra_/photo/AF1QipOhIBESxy89l2SoCJ-ebIn... Thank you for your quick reply. I tried half push as well but they are still behave similarly. Sometimes it switches sometimes it don’t. I use Panasonic (2000mah) taking from an old laptop and Trustfire 3000mah from DX. Both behave the same. The photo of the driver is attached. Not sure if it is clear enough or not. (It didn’t show up so I provided the link.) Thanks again.

I cant open and view the image

twinclouds
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Here it is.!Chicago commercial photographers!

Twinclouds

twinclouds
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Thanks for your suggestion.
It sometimes works but not reliably.

bibihang wrote:
Hi twinclouds, did you also try to do the half-press very quickly? From my experience some drivers require very quick tap on the switch in order to change mode, but they are mostly buck driver though.

Twinclouds

Rolz
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The driver in your picture is clearly the KD V2. The solder pads are as per mine, so you have a 3 mode (Low – Medium and high)

It maybe the switch, driver or batteries used.

Ideally you work thorugh the issues to find out the cause. The switch can be checked via a test of the torch without the tailcap fitted. Use a heavy guage wire to short the -ve end of the battery and the torch tube end (non anodised end). If you can do this you can prove if the switch is faulty or not. Tap one end of the wire to mimic a quick tap on the switch to try and change modes. If the behaviour of the flashlight is the same as with the tail switch fitted you can cross of the switch being an issue.

Next I’d verify if the batteries are the cause. One of your batteries is a laptop pull and the other a Trustfire 3000mAH. How confident are you that both are good batteries for 3A constant current? I assume the Trustfire is protected. The protection may kick in for the high mode.

On high does your torch head feel very warm after 5 minutes?

ri chevy
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I would also recommend to try some different batteries in the light as well. The batteries you mentioned are garbage and may not be holding proper voltage. I mention this because you stated it wasn’t as bright as you thought. The light may not even be using the highest mode due to voltage sag. Get yourself some current newer batteries and try one of them first. Also make sure the tailcap is tight, and the ring inside the tailcap holding the switch in is tight.

twinclouds
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Candy from KD told me I should half press the quick release twice. It works much better but still not very reliable. Sometimes it changes mode not according to the sequence that supposed to be.
As for testing the flashlight and battery, I borrowed a new C8 from a friend and tried both on my home made IS. The current draw are the same about 2.4A. From the reading of my IS, KD only provide about 80 percent reading from the attached luxmeter of that from the Convoy C8. My IS is not calibrated but it is very good for relative comparison. Both uses the same battery and draw the same amount of current, so I cannot blame the low light output on battery. I am going to receive some LG HE4’s and will test more.
I think the reason why Rolz get higher lux reading is partly because the KD c8 has a much tighter hot light spot then C8. Of course it also possible I have a not so good driver. I will test the lux reading when get chance.
As for switching mode, the 4×7135 that I bought from KD works much more normal. It change mode after a short off and not after a long off. Both supposed to be KD V2 drivers.
I am really disappointing.

ri chevy wrote:
I would also recommend to try some different batteries in the light as well. The batteries you mentioned are garbage and may not be holding proper voltage. I mention this because you stated it wasn’t as bright as you thought. The light may not even be using the highest mode due to voltage sag. Get yourself some current newer batteries and try one of them first. Also make sure the tailcap is tight, and the ring inside the tailcap holding the switch in is tight.

Twinclouds

hank
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You did the tailcap test? Did you clean all the threads, where any parts screw together? Just wipe with tissue paper, see if you get black gunk off the threads. Aluminum does that over time, you need to do it sometimes.

Did you try adding a bit of conductive “bulb lubricant” or Nyogel or something on the threads? That often helps.
Add a dab of it on the ends of the springs as well.

Look hard at the places the spring(s) are soldered down — is it gray and cracked looking solder? Cold solder joints make intermittent contact sometimes.

All this and everything others suggested above are just routine for “budget” flashlights. Remember some are bargains, some are cheap, and most can be improved on by a litttle cleanup and maybe bit of work.

Don’t expect these things to be consistent as received. Every one is likely a bit different, and the sellers very rarely know what they’re selling.

This kind of intermittent behavior is really familiar.

twinclouds
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I tried half push and release method. It works better but still not always consistent. I will try your suggests what I can.
I agree about your comments on cheap flash lights. If it is from ebay for about $6 – $7, I won’t complain. However, this flashlight has KD’s logo and sold by KD. They should know their own product better. Moreover, it is not that cheap. At least it cost more than my friend’s Convoy ($22 vs $18). I would expect a better quality one.

hank wrote:
You did the tailcap test? Did you clean all the threads, where any parts screw together? Just wipe with tissue paper, see if you get black gunk off the threads. Aluminum does that over time, you need to do it sometimes.

Did you try adding a bit of conductive “bulb lubricant” or Nyogel or something on the threads? That often helps.
Add a dab of it on the ends of the springs as well.

Look hard at the places the spring(s) are soldered down — is it gray and cracked looking solder? Cold solder joints make intermittent contact sometimes.

All this and everything others suggested above are just routine for “budget” flashlights. Remember some are bargains, some are cheap, and most can be improved on by a litttle cleanup and maybe bit of work.

Don’t expect these things to be consistent as received. Every one is likely a bit different, and the sellers very rarely know what they’re selling.

This kind of intermittent behavior is really familiar.

Twinclouds

twinclouds
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I received LG HE4 2500 mah batteries yesterday. I did some tests this morning. The current draws are about 3000ma for the KD C8 and about 2760ma from Convoy C8. When I tested the 1 meter hot spot direct Lux measurement as Rolz did, the results match his. Namely, the KD provide about 35000 lux and the Convoy gave me about 20000 lux. There are slightly difference between mine and his probably because product variation and/or accuracy of my meter (it is a very cheap one). However, when I using my IS to measure their output lumens, the reading are basically the same, at 20000 lux from the IS port. I would estimate the flashlight lumens are between 700 to 800. I thought KD C8 should provide more lumens since it has a better LED and draw more current, but it doesn’t. Of course, it could be because my IS is not ideal and does not handled both C8s equally well as they have different beam patterns as discussed below.
The reason why KD C8 gives much higher direct maximum Lux reading than Convoy C8 while their Lumens may not differ that much is because it has a much tighter hot spot. It should provide much larger throw distance.
As I said before, I really don’t like its behavior in mode switching. Even when it works, i.e., by quick double half push, it is not very reliable. Occasionally, it would skip one mode or not switch at all.
In conclusion, I would rank Convoy C8 (much) higher than KD C8 overall. In my opinion, it is only worth buying if you want a long throw distance as its tight hot spot can produce.

Twinclouds

BanL
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I know there is some comment to say it is difficult to change the flashlight mode. We had made an video to show how to change the flashlight mode on youtube.

https://youtu.be/EWc94Nqrwf4

The flashlight will turn on at Lo mode. Press twice to enable the mode change function. Then you can continue to press once in 3 seconds to change to next mode. If stay at any mode last above 3 seconds, then you need to press twice to active the mode change function again.

For any question, please feel free to contact us sales@kaidomain.com or me.

We would continue to improve our product. Thanks for you guys advice.

kaidomain.com KD - LED Flashlights, DIY Parts and Accessories

Inquiry for KD, please feel free to contact me.

twinclouds
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Hi, Ban:
Thank you for post the video trying to clarify. However, I did the way you said, it sometimes works but sometimes not. I can show you a video that I recorded but I would like first to ask you about a few details.
(1) My flashlight right now turns on in Hi or median mode. In order to set the mode, do I need to put in the low mode, after a while then turn it on to set the mode?
(2) Once the mode is set as you said, do I need to do that again next time or once is sufficient?
(3) When performing initial setting or switching mode, do I need to push halfway then release without clicking the switch or clicking is o.k. also as long as it is less then 3 seconds.
Once I have you answers, I will try it again and send you the recording.
Thanks.

BanL wrote:
I know there is some comment to say it is difficult to change the flashlight mode. We had made an video to show how to change the flashlight mode on youtube.

https://youtu.be/EWc94Nqrwf4

The flashlight will turn on at Lo mode. Press twice to enable the mode change function. Then you can continue to press once in 3 seconds to change to next mode. If stay at any mode last above 3 seconds, then you need to press twice to active the mode change function again.

For any question, please feel free to contact us sales@kaidomain.com or me.

We would continue to improve our product. Thanks for you guys advice.

Twinclouds

BanL
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Hi Twinclouds

Sorry for replying you late.

From your question 1:
You don’t need to put in the Lo mode and switch mode. You can switch at any mode by pressing twice.

From your question 2:
This flashlight has memory function. Once you use the current mode for more than 3secs (Approx). And then turn off for more than 3secs (Approx) also. Next time when you turn on the flashlight, it will stay at the same mode.

From your question 3:
Yes, Half press is enough. You don’t need to have a full click.

If you have any question, please feel free to contact me.

Hope it can let you know more.

Thanks

Ban

kaidomain.com KD - LED Flashlights, DIY Parts and Accessories

Inquiry for KD, please feel free to contact me.

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